ADF International


Event at EU Parliament: Restrictions on Conscience Rights in Europe and Beyond


MEPs Marijana Petir (EPP), Kazimierz Michał Ujazdowski (ECR), and Hannu Takkula (ALDE); ADF International lawyers; international experts on freedom of conscience


Event and panel discussion: “Freedom of Conscience – What is it? Why protect it?”


Wednesday, 2 March, 2-4 p.m. CET


European Parliament, Brussels, ASP A3F383

BRUSSELS – On Wednesday, ADF International will co-host an event at the European Parliament in Brussels that will consider current restrictions on freedom of conscience in Europe and beyond. The event will focus on Finland, one of four EU countries that currently do not safeguard the right to conscientious objection for medical personnel, and on South Asia, which is seeing increasing restrictions on the freedom to change religion.

Freedom of conscience is not only a fundamental right but is also essential

“Freedom of conscience is not only a fundamental right but is also essential for the development and preservation of an open, pluralistic, and inclusive society,” said ADF International Legal Counsel Adina Portaru, who will participate in the panel discussion. “Fostering an environment in which it is possible to hold different views, without losing respect for the opposing opinion or the person formulating it, is a cornerstone of a well-functioning democracy.”

Portaru explained that the European Union and its member states need to ensure adequate protection of freedom of conscience within the EU and, through its foreign policy, in the rest of the world.

The speakers at the event will cover a variety of topics ranging from health care to anti-conversion laws.

  • Sari Tanus, member of Finnish Parliament and gynecologist, prominent advocate for freedom of conscience for the medical professions
  • Dominic Emmanuel, priest and expert on Indian anti-conversion laws
  • Christel Lamère Ngnambi, Brussels representative of the European Evangelical Alliance
  • Adina Portaru, legal counsel at ADF International

Requests for interviews can be submitted before the event to

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Faith-based legal advocacy organization that protects fundamental freedoms and promotes the inherent dignity of all people.